now faintly dappled by spots,
backgrounded a decade times five;
this cloud of witness would testify
to a life’s time labored
in the shadow of friends,
once fresh and now weathered
some folded and stained,
spines cracked (despite care).
Ears attentive could overhear
old discussions in marginal marks.
Except they all lay now in boxes
for flesh, paper, and bone;
buried in dirt or the dust of a room
unwanted by any,